U-report enables communities even the most vulnerable participate and advocate for better services using SMS messages.
NEW YORK – UNICEF’s commitment to innovation was highlighted last week, when it was announced that the UNICEF-supported U-Report – a free SMS-based system that allows young Ugandans to speak out on what’s happening in communities across the country – was selected by a global Jury of 60 experts from nearly 50 countries as the winner of a World Summit Award (WSA).
The WSA was launched as part of the United Nations Summit on the Information Society in 2003 and is considered the unique global competition for recognizing the best in m-Content and creativity.
More than 450 submissions from all UN member states were nominated this year, with only 5 nabbing the top honors in each category.
As crisis and conflict continues unabated throughout all parts of the earth, it has never been more imperative than right now that we utilize the technologies and innovations at our disposal to engage the world in our mission.
This latest recognition is proof that the world is indeed taking notice of our efforts. By seeking out innovative solutions to big problems we will continue to inspire, engage and mobilize the global community, effecting positive change for all children.
Speaking with ICON, UNICEF’s Director of Innovation, Dr Sharad Sapra, said “A large proportion of the population in the developing countries is very young. Sustainable development needs these young people to be engaged and to take our work forward. We need to move away from a shareholder model of working and a patron-client relationship to a stakeholder model of working. U-Report allows us to do that. This award also validates the Executive Director’s vision on the importance of Innovation to address inequities.”
The awards ceremony will take place in Abu Dhabi, UAE from 1-3 February 2015. The winner’s events will be hosted by the Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Center (ADSIC) in the name of the government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
These events will provide the unique opportunity for the winners to present their products on a global stage and derive new inspiration from a host of acclaimed key note speakers, and demo-rich workshops. It will also afford participants the opportunity to network with international developers, experts and UN Representatives.
The Awards will be distributed by the high level dignitaries at the WSA-mobile Winner’s gala.
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